Ready to Read with Kate: Encouraging a love of books in Bishopston and beyond

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Today’s post on Bishopston Mum is an interview with Kate Flanagan, a local mum of two. Kate runs an Usborne children’s books business called Ready to Read with Kate, helping to encourage a love of books in Bishopston and beyond.

In this interview Kate talks about why she started Ready to Read with Kate, what she personally likes about Usborne books, the books that she offers, plus her favourite Usborne books and those of her children.

Kate is also offering Bishopston Mum readers a 10% discount off their first orders – please read on to find out more.

Hi Kate, please can you tell readers a bit about yourself?

My name is Kate Flanagan. I am a mum of two young boys, a childminder, a qualified teacher and most recently an Usborne children’s books organiser.

Please explain more about Ready to Read with Kate.

I started my Usborne business 2 years ago when I wanted to earn some extra income whilst on maternity leave. I was attracted to Usborne books because I can fit it around my childminding and busy family life.

There are no targets to meet and I can work whenever and wherever I want to. I do book parties in people’s homes, toddler groups, school fairs and informally in the school playground!

I have a Facebook page where I post special offers and information about new titles as well as Facebook sales.

What do you personally like about Usborne books?

When I started my business, I suddenly realised how many Usborne books my sons had between them. From birth they had been given various lovely titles including That’s Not My Donkey, That’s Not My Lamb, Noisy Farm and many others.

We even dug out some of my husband’s old books from 30 years ago! It just goes to prove the quality of Usborne books – they are made to last. I am also constantly surprised that every month, new titles are added to our already extensive range.

In terms of working for Usborne books, I feel like I am fully supported by my mentor and senior staff. There are lots of training opportunities and plenty of people to talk to for advice as well as an annual conference which is great for gaining fresh ideas and motivation.

I also love that Usborne Books really want to encourage children’s love of reading by offering schools books for free.

What age range are your books aimed at?

Usborne books are aimed at birth to young adult. We offer a range of cloth and bath books for babies to gritty novels for young adults with plenty of interactive books for children in between.

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What are the most popular Usborne books that you offer?

I currently sell lots of books at toddler groups and home parties so I find that my top sellers are from the See Inside range and the younger version – Look Inside. Children are fascinated with what’s going on inside them so I sell a lot of books about the body.

http://www.usbornebooksathome.co.uk/catalogue/catalogue.aspx?cat=1&area=S&subcat=SH&id=1927

http://www.usbornebooksathome.co.uk/catalogue/catalogue.aspx?cat=1&area=S&subcat=SH&id=6418

I also sell a lot of wipe clean books which parents love as they last for ages. We have lots of lovely reading libraries as well which go down well with the youngest readers. These are always popular with parents because of our low prices. Our Noisy Book range is a real hit too….for some reason, Noisy Bottoms is one of the most popular.

Do you and your own children have any personal favourites?

My 3-year-old loves his “Peep Inside Animal Homes” as well as the Farmyard Tales stories. He loves looking for the Usborne yellow duck on each page.

My 5-year-old really enjoys stories from his Fairy Tales book as well as See Inside Dinosaurs. It’s a struggle to keep his hands off my deliveries to be honest! He’s always sneaking books away to try to read!

http://www.usbornebooksathome.co.uk/catalogue/catalogue.aspx?cat=1&area=FT&subcat=FTC&id=3893

The activity packs save a lot of arguments as well. With 4 mini books inside each pack I find they go everywhere with us. They now have the Pirate pack, the Holiday pack and the Sticker Dolly Dressing pack.

Are there any current special offers on the Usborne books that you offer?

Usborne frequently update their special offers and because it’s my business I am able to offer customers discounts at my discretion. I would happily offer new customers who come to me from Bishopston Mum a 10% discount on their first order.

Here are a couple of current special offers – order while stock lasts:

http://www.usbornebooksathome.co.uk/blog/952/starting-school-wipe-clean-activity-pack-for-just-799.aspx

http://www.usbornebooksathome.co.uk/blog/1153/open-up-the-travel-activity-pack-for-just-799.aspx

http://www.usbornebooksathome.co.uk/blog/1169/save-over-77-on-a-brand-new-picture-book-gift-set.aspx

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How can readers find out more about Ready to Read with Kate?

Over the last 2 years I have built up a fantastic following of local customers who buy from me rather than larger multi-national companies. I am always at the end of the phone, email or Facebook message. In fact, only today, I have found new customers through the power of BS7 Mums!

Please have a look at my Ready to Read with Kate Facebook page or email me with any queries at salisburykate@hotmail.com.

I am always on the lookout for new team members as I often have to turn down events during busy periods. If you love children’s books and fancy setting up your own business that works around your lifestyle, then please get in touch for a chat. I would love to hear from you.

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